Saturday, 16 August 2008

Wordle and Hilda Taba

I'm delighted to say that, since my earlier post on Using Wordle in the Classroom, I've received some new resource ideas from site-contributor Dave Norgate.

Find all the prepositions.

Sort the words into two columns - correctly spelt and misspelt.

These ideas will be appearing on the site sometime next week - complete with instructions, answer sheets and curriculum links.

I really like the idea of 'sorting' in the second picture (and 'listing' in the first). It brings back distant PGCE memories of Hilda Taba and her 'concept development model'.

Of course you could give your learners either of the pictures above with no instructions.


Well - this gets them thinking about the words (and the concepts). If they come up with the sorting or listing ideas themselves they'll be more engaged and have ownership of the resource.

Here's a few questions you could ask if needed.

These questions were inspired by information on this site

  • What do you notice about these words?
  • Do any of these words seem to belong together?
  • Why would you group these words together?
  • What would you call the groups?
  • Could some of the words belong in other groups?
  • Can you suggest other words that you could add to these groups?
  • Can you make your own Wordle pictures?
  • What if....
I reckon this idea could be adapted for numeracy: sorting out maths vocabulary words; ranking measures in order of size; sorting measures into length, weight or capacity; sorting shapes (well, names of shapes) according to properties; etc.

For more on Taba:
The PDF above can also be located from this menu page: (select Concept Formation)

There's also good clear coverage of Taba's model in Teaching Young Adults (Gill Turner, Joe Harkin, Trevor Dawn) RoutledgeFalmer 2001 (one of my PGCE set books).

I’m sure there are lots more possibilities so I'll finish by repeating my request from the previous Wordle post: if you have any Wordle ideas you’d like to share please get in touch or leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

After reading your post about Wordle we have been experimenting at home and the boys love it! I love Taba a little bit more than Wordle but it's a close call!

Anonymous said...

I have also been experimenting and have produced a video of an REM song The Lifting . I have used Wordle to display the lyrics. You can view it on my blog
clicking on my name will take you to the blog

Maggie said...

Hi Judy

Yes – I watched your movie a few days ago – you’re very clever! I’m sure this idea could be used with other songs and videos to focus on key words or spellings – just wish I had more time to play around and experiment.

I also love your idea (on your blog) of using Wordle with your preEntry learners as an induction activity – asking them to type in their names. I’m trying to think how I could adapt this idea for my new Entry 3 literacy group next week…

I haven’t used Movie Maker and assumed that I would have to pay to get it. However, a quick search on Google led to the discovery that it is provided with Windows (XP onwards I think). I’ve just checked my computer (Vista) and discovered that I do indeed have it – now I just need some time…

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annec said...

Hi all,

I am just learning to use Wordle. I have printed my first effort but don't know how I could save it somewhere else besides on the public website. I'd like to practise a bit more then produce an item for Skillsworkshop using it. How do I keep my Wordles? Can anyone help?

Maggie said...

Hello Anne,

Ooooh, yes please! Do produce something in Wordle for when you get a chance.

No rush, I am still working through the backlog of resources caused by my recent Level 5 Numeracy Diploma studies. I'm now up to those sent in on November 27th 2008 but will be making major efforts to decrease the backlog before the start of the autumn term.

The best way to save Wordles for future use is as PDF files. I use Adobe Acrobat Writer but you can get free PDF creators on the web.

If you read the FAQ in Wordle you'll see that the author recommends a program called cutePDF. I've never used cutePDF but I use cuteFTP all the time to upload files to my web site. It's an excellent program so I imagine cutePDF is in a similar vein.

Once you have a PDF writer installed you just use the print button but opt to print to a PDF (rather than to a printer).

Another option is to take a screen shot by pressing the PrtScn key (normally in the top right area of your keyboard) - this copies the contents of your entire screen to the Windows clipboard (To copy the contents of just the active window press Alt-PrtScn). You can then paste this into a Word document, PPT, etc. (and then crop it if needed with the normal Windows drawing tools).

On my PC (Windows Vista) I also have a handy gadget called the Snipping Tool (Start - All Programs - Accessories) which allows you to select the exact part of the screen that you want to copy.

Have fun!

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